Update, 12:59 p.m. PT
Prosecutor David Walgren presented an impassioned closing argument in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray on Thursday, accusing Murray of performing an "obscene experiment" on deceased singer Michael Jackson and lambasting key defense witness Dr. Paul White.
During his lengthy argument, Walgren cataloged the "massive quantities of propofol" that Murray had ordered while treating Jackson, which translated to just over four gallons of the anesthetic. He also attacked Murray for continually misleading others about Jackson's health issues, and dismissed Murray's contention to police that the doctor had only given Jackson enough propofol to put him out for a few minutes.
Noting that Murray, according to his own statement to police, only agreed to give Jackson propofol after Jackson agreed to cancel his concert rehearsal later in the day, Walgren contended that Murray gave him a dose of propofol intended to keep Jackson unconscious for several hours.
Walgren also attacked Murray's 20-minute-plus delay in calling 911, suggesting that the doctor put off the crucial call in order to cover his tracks.
"Conrad Murray did not call 911 because he had other things on his mind -- to protect Conrad Murray," Walgren asserted to jurors.
Characterizing Murray's willingness to treat Jackson's insomnia with propofol an "obscene experiment," Walgren called Murray's medical treatment of the singer "unethical, unconscionable, and an extreme deviation from the standard of care."
Walgren was nearly as harsh on Dr. Paul White, who served as a key expert medical witness for Murray's defense.
Painting White as someone who presented himself as an expert yet switched theories several times as each earlier theory was disproved, Walgren accused White of sloppy work and lack of diligence. "This is the level of academic research and vigor that Dr. White sullied this trial with," Walgren said, pointing to a study of oral propofol use in animals that was touted by the defense but that White, by his own admission, had essentially nothing to do with.
"What you were presented by Dr. White was junk science ... and it's sad that Dr. White came in here, for whatever motive he might have had," Walgren said, insinuating that White might have been financially motivated to testify.
"Michael Jackson trusted Conrad Murray. He trusted him with his life; he paid with his life," Walgren concluded. "Conrad Murray in multiple instances deceived, lied [and] obscured, but more importantly Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence ... justice demands a guilty verdict."
Court is currently in court for lunch recess, after which Murray's defense team will deliver its closing argument.
Update 10:41 a.m.
Prosecutor David Walgren is making a compelling final pitch to the jury with his closing argument. Walgren started with a rundown of how much Michael Jackson had trusted Conrad Murray, and how excited Jackson was for his future with his children.
Jackson had planned to settle down in one location with his children, to buy a large home, Walgren said. He pinned all of his comeback hopes on the series of sold-out concerts in London, which he also hoped would bring in enough cash so he could open his own children's hospital.
And he wanted his children to be able to see him perform at the London shows, Walgren said.
Jackson trusted Murray with his life, Walgren told the jury, and "each and every day Conrad Murray violated that trust."
"Michael Jackson trusted Conrad Murray. He trusted him with his life. He trusted him with his own individual life and the future lives of his children … And for that, Michael Jackson paid with his life."
The prosecution and defense in Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial are expected to deliver their closing arguments today and send the case to the jury.
The Los Angeles County coroner ruled Jackson died of "acute propofol intoxication," and that sedatives were also a factor. Prosecutors contend Murray is criminally liable for Jackson's June 25, 2009 death because he recklessly administered the propofol, a potent surgical anesthetic drug, and was negligent in properly monitoring Jackson.
Murray faces up to four years in prison and loss of his medical license if convicted, though a new California law could mean his sentence would be reduced to two years and be served in a county jail.
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